GRASS VALLEY, Calif. August 16, 2017 – The California Water Commission (Commission) received 12 applications for funding under the Water Storage Investment Program (WSIP), including a funding request from Nevada Irrigation District (NID) of $11,950,000 for the proposed Centennial project. NID lists construction costs at $324 million (excluding land acquisitions, permits etc) and claims ecosystem and recreation benefits from the project.
NID’s Board of Directors approved the submission of an application at their August 9th meeting. The application, originally listed as a consent calendar item, was pulled for discussion. The application period opened March 14, 2017 and closed August 14, 2017. With the deadline for the application looming, the public voiced their concern about an ACWA study, co-funded by NID, which reads, in part “Supply from Centennial may be used to augment American River supplies when Folsom has low storage conditions, and provide water supply reliability to urban water users, while enhancing temperature conditions in the lower American River.” Even Oroville could benefit from the new storage, according to the study “At times when Oroville releases are made to maintain adequate flows in the lower Feather River, Centennial releases may be integrated with Oroville releases to conserve storage levels in Oroville Reservoir.”
Directors approved the submittal of the application, but gave direction to the General Manager to not transfer water outside the District as part of a Proposition 1 grant.
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To qualify for funding, a project must improve the operation of the state water system, be cost effective, and provide a net improvement in ecosystem and water quality conditions. A project must also provide measurable improvements to the Delta ecosystem or to the tributaries to the Delta in order to receive funding.
The WSIP is funded by Proposition 1, the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Act of 2014. Chapter 8 of Proposition 1 dedicated $2.7 billion for investments in the public benefits of water storage projects and designated the Commission as the agency responsible for awarding these funds.
According to the Commission’s news release, the applications will be checked for eligibility and completeness before entering a full technical review. The Commission expects to hold multiple public meetings regarding WSIP funding for the projects, including determining the Public Benefit Ratio (March 2018), Final Project Score (May 2018), and Maximum Conditional Eligibility Determination and Early Funding for Completion of Environmental Documents and Permits (June 2018). Information about Commission meeting schedules and status of review may be found at www.cwc.ca.gov.